The Mets are bringing back catcher Michael Perez, reports Mike Puma of The New York Post. Presumably, it’s a minor league deal for Perez, who was outrighted off the club’s roster in October.
Perez, 30, has spent some time in the majors in each of the past five seasons, spending time with the Rays, Pirates and Mets. He seemed passable with the bat in his first couple of seasons with the Rays, hitting .258/.321/.367 in 2018 and 2019. That was just 135 plate appearances but led to a 91 wRC+, roughly average for a catcher. In the three seasons since, however, he’s produced a line of .149/.222/.282.
Defensively, Perez has generally been considered a strong defender. Prospect reports from his time as a minor league highlighted his blocking and game-calling, though his framing was considered a weak point. Both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus have considered him to be a subpar framer in his time in the big leagues so far, though Defensive Runs Saved considers his defense to be better than average.
Last year, despite not hitting much, he spent a decent amount of time rostered due to injuries. The Pirates were trying to cover for Roberto Pérez, who underwent season-ending hamstring surgery. Michael Perez got selected in his place and lasted on the roster for more than two months but barely hit at all. He was designated for assignment and sent to the Mets for cash considerations, with that club dealing with injuries to James McCann and Tomás Nido at the time. He stuck with the Mets until getting designated for assignment and outrighted in October.
For the Mets, they clearly liked Perez enough to bring him back as non-roster depth. The major league team will feature Omar Narváez and Nido, with a third catcher on the 40-man roster in Francisco Álvarez. The 21-year-old Álvarez made his MLB debut late last year and is considered one of the best prospects in the league, but that’s mainly due to his bat. He seems likely to begin the season at Triple-A to continue developing as a defender. Joel Sherman of The New York Post recently spoke with general manager Billy Eppler, who said there’s a chance Alvarez could crack the big league club out of Spring Training. Some have suggested the club should carry three catchers in order to get the bat of Álvarez into the lineup, though doing so would give him less time to continue developing his defense than if he were the everyday backstop in Triple-A. However the Mets choose to play it, Perez will give them an experienced option to have in Triple-A should they need it at some point. If he gets back onto the roster, he still has an option year remaining and will give the Mets some roster flexibility.
Solid depth move for NYM.
The plan may be for him to teach Alvarez catching techniques while they’re both in Syracuse. It’s a good move.
This is the only option that really makes sense. I was thinking about them possibly taking 3 catchers on their roster with Alvarez getting time at DH but they would be better served to let him play in the minors and sharpen his catching skills. #GoBraves
Good point on the possibility of Perez mentoring Alvarez in AAA. I have heard that part of the reason they signed Narvaez was because he’s also a Venezuelan (same cultural background), with good defense at catcher, and so he could also mentor Alvarez in the MLB. I like the idea of having that in both AAA and MLB. Perhaps the Mets also held out a carrot that this could lead to a future coaching position for Perez?
Perez could also mentor other catchers on the art of swinging at every pitch thrown
LOL … That’s not an art. You’re missing a letter, it’s more like a back fire. 🙂
Anyway, we don’t care about his bat.
Very hard to watch last year from alvarez vs the braves sigh very very depressing, I can understand alvarez wants to be the “clutch moment” for a rookie, hopefully 2023 he ease himself at the plate.
Also, Syracuse could have a pretty strong pitching rotation for Alvarez and Perez to catch if those who would be 6-9 on the main roster were there. I’m looking at Peterson, Lucchesi, Megill, and Hernandez.
The feel good story of the Winter.
Defense is way more important at catcher than any other position. Solid depth move.
Yeah right on my softball team we put any slug back there. Its not important at all we have the pitcher cover any plays at the plate,
One of the many differences between the world class athletes that play softball and Major League Baseball
I’m not sure you compare your beer league softball team to the way the they do things in Major League Baseball, scratch that you can’t in any situation so I think LonnieB gave up too easily.
Depth.. depth is good.
Perez at this point in his career is really just a translator for Alvarez, a really expensive one at that
Great another catcher that’s what the Mets really need, lol
Good point. Everyone knows that in the minor leagues, the pitchers just throw the ball & hit the umpires in their chest protectors